Teen showjumper leads home a top Qual­ity field

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion/news -

Jake Lam­bert fin­ished his first-ever Bayer FEI World Cup New Zealand showjump­ing round just as he planned, at the front of the field. Aboard nine-year-old Qual­ity NZPH, the 19-year-old orig­i­nally from Mata­mata headed home a small qual­ity field in the sixth round of the se­ries at the Re­flec­tion Treat­ments Sys­tems New Year World Cup Fes­ti­val at Wood­hill Sands Eques­trian Cen­tre on Sun­day.

Qual­ity is the sev­enth New Zealand Per­for­mance Horse to win a world cup round and that makes breed­ers War­wick and Juliet Hansen (Ocean Beach) very happy.

But Sun­day also be­longed to Lam­bert and his par­ents Al­lan and Raewyn.

The fam­ily bought the horse as a fiveyear-old off Phillip and Sally Steiner in Tau­ranga.

It was fel­low world cup rider Cather­ine Cameron and Al­lan Lam­bert who picked him for a win­ner – Jake Lam­bert needed a lit­tle con­vinc­ing. No longer though! On Sun­day they headed home win­ners against two Olympic and World Cham­pion rid­ers in Katie McVean (Mys­tery Creek) and Sa­man­tha McIn­tosh (Cam­bridge) who had to set­tle for sec­ond and third re­spec­tively and fourth and fifth, with Cather­ine Cameron in sixth.

‘‘It’s nice to know I can foot it with the best,’’ said Lam­bert.

While he was a late en­try into the class, he said the plan was al­ways to start in the round at Wood­hill Sands Eques­trian Cen­tre.

Lam­bert, McVean aboard Horse of the Year Dun­stan Daf­fodil and McIn­tosh on her im­ported mare Estina were all clear in the first round.

Six com­bi­na­tions came back for the sec­ond, which saw McVean clear again in 48.29 sec­onds, fol­lowed by Lam­bert who was faster with 47.27 and clear.

McIn­tosh was last of the trio of clears to go and paid for her su­per-quick 45.50 time with two rails, how­ever, she was clear on her other horse Claire, to pick up third and fourth plac­ings.

Lam­bert said he wasn’t psyched out by the com­pany he was keep­ing.

‘‘We just have a plan and stick to it,’’ he said.

‘‘At the end of the day, it’s just you and the fences.’’

The Lam­bert fam­ily are look­ing to­wards the big crowns up for grabs at the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in Hast­ings in March, but Lam­bert said the top pri­or­ity is to look af­ter their su­per­star horse.

‘‘We’ve never been in a rush to push him, and it’s paid div­i­dends,’’ he said.

The class was the high­light of a very full two days of com­pe­ti­tion at the show, which at­tracted a record 600-plus horses.

Cham­pion che­val: Bayer FEI World Cup New Zealand showjump­ing round win­ner Jake Lam­bert with his victorious horse Qual­ity NZPH and spon­sor Paul Ri­eth­maier at Wood­hill Sands Eques­trian Cen­tre on Sun­day.

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